What does it mean to love yourself? And how do you get started if you’re ready to change your life for the better?
I’ll be honest with you. Self-love is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to make healthy changes in your life. Once you stop hiding from your problems and you start seeing how you’ve been holding yourself back, you can’t exactly “un-see” it.
The good news? As cheesy as it sounds, self-love really is the best love! When you start making decisions that serve you and help you grow into the best version of yourself, your life changes right in front of your eyes.
Your relationships improve, your finances become more secure, you feel better about yourself, and the big dreams you once thought were super impossible become reality.
I mean, who wouldn’t want a piece of that!?
So without further adieu, here are 8 ways you can start loving yourself more and changing your life today:
1. Do a life audit.
The first thing you must do before you can really change your life is zoom out and get clarity on what is and isn’t working. Sometimes you get so used to the status quo that you don’t even realize what’s making you feel so unfulfilled and funky.
My favorite tool to help me do this is the Wheel of Life. It’s a visual representation of how you feel about the 8 major areas of your life: Finances, Career/Business, Fun/Recreation, Family & Friends, Health & Wellbeing, Love, Physical Environment, Spiritual.
For each area, you give it a score from 1-10 (10 being the most satisfied and 1 being the least) and you shade in that part of the circle. Once completed, you’ll have a much better idea of where it would make the most sense to spend your energy making some changes for the better.
It’s also a great way to call attention the areas you are doing well in, that maybe you’re taking for granted. After all, it’s easy to get caught up in problems when really things aren’t so bad as our mind would make us believe.
Self-love isn’t only about bubble baths and massages, it’s also about being brave enough to make changes in your life when you feel unhappy and unfulfilled.
Free printable: Wheel of Life
2. Create new standards.
Once you have an idea of where in your life you’d like to make some changes, the next step is to figure out the next level up from where you are now.
The easiest way to do this is to set new standards (AKA what you’d like to become your new normal). For example, if right now you have zero savings and you’re in massive debt your new standard might become, “I am debt-free, and I feel financially secure.”
You can also reverse-engineer your standards by writing down what you’re no longer willing to tolerate. This way you turn what you’d normally just vent about into an opportunity to change your life for the better.
Loving yourself means being willing to create the best possible life for yourself rather than settling for just “okay.”
3. Set healthy boundaries.
Setting healthy boundaries goes hand in hand with setting new standards for your life. When you aren’t loving yourself, you tend to put other people’s happiness above your own.
Without even realizing it, you put yourself last and spend all your energy trying to prove your worth to other people.
In the end when all that energy isn’t reciprocated you end up feeling burned out and even worse about yourself than you did before.
Here’s an important truth for you: Setting boundaries isn’t selfish.
You must be willing to stand up for yourself and your needs, because who else will? Plus when you set healthy boundaries, everyone wins.
Life tip: There’s a difference between setting healthy boundaries and closing yourself off from the world never being of service to others. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
The best way to know that it’s time to set a boundary is when you start feeling resentful of the other person. Resentment is no bueno. It’s a sign that you’re over giving, and it’s time to have an important conversation around what you are willing (and not willing) to do moving forward.
If you need more in-depth information about boundaries, you should check out this guide from Positive Psychology.
4. Let go of old negative beliefs about yourself.
We all have an Inner Mean Girl spewing negative BS thoughts in our ear on the daily. It’s only human to start believing some of her shit, even though deep down you know most of it isn’t in the least bit true.
However, you are not at the mercy of your thoughts. You have the ability to create new thoughts which eventually turn into new beliefs.
Letting go of old beliefs starts with awareness of the loop of negative thoughts running through your mind every day. Start by writing down your negative thoughts over a 24 hour period. This gives you a better idea of which beliefs are running the show and keeping you small.
5. Create new empowering beliefs about yourself.
Next, you want to re-frame each negative thought and belief so that it becomes a strength rather than a weakness.
Here’s an example: “I’m so weird and I never fit in” becomes “I’m one of a kind and I stand out from the crowd.”
To take it even further, think of 3 words you’d like to be described as by other people. For example, “confident, inspiring, and successful.”
Ask yourself, “what would I need to believe about myself to feel (insert 3 words)?”
Following the example above, your responses might look something like this:
- I love the skin I’m in, and I radiate confidence. I love who I am, and I believe I have what it takes to create my dream life.
- I’m inspiring to others just by being myself and showing up for my dreams every single day. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I already know I’m enough.
- Everything I touch turns to gold. Successful is a state of mind, and I feel very successful. I love the life I’ve created for myself.
Put these new beliefs everywhere (bathroom mirror, car, journal, passwords, phone background, etc.) to help you “install” them in your mind. At first they will feel like lies, but eventually they will feel true.
6. Stop taking things personally.
One of my favorite self-help books, The Four Agreements, taught me this important life lesson: Stop taking things personally.
In the book, Don Miguel Ruiz says that if we can follow just this one agreement our entire life would change.
When we take things personally, we aren’t acting from a place of love. We are blaming ourselves for everything that goes wrong! And how could that possibly be the case!?
Not only does taking things personally make you feel awful about yourself, but it also ruins your relationships with other people. It creates stress and unnecessary heartache when you choose to believe someone you care about is intentionally hurting you with their decisions or behavior.
Most of the time, it’s not really about us. It’s about them. Just like our decisions aren’t usually made to intentionally hurt other people, neither are theirs.
Important note: This does not mean you accept poor treatment and abusive behavior from other people. It means you don’t make that treatment or poor behavior mean you aren’t lovable, worthy, or deserving of the good things in life.
7. Take inspired action every day towards your big dreams.
Loving yourself is giving yourself permission to have a truly fulfilling life rather than just a “meh, it’s okay” life. You don’t have to hit rock bottom to start making changes today.
When I decided back in 2015 to start a business, quit my 9-5, and start traveling the world my life wasn’t bad. I had great friends, I lived in a great city, and I felt healthy and happy.
But deep down I still wanted more.
I had always dreamed of traveling, and I didn’t love being stuck behind a desk all day. I also wanted to be my own boss and have more lifestyle freedom.
The big changes didn’t happen overnight. They started with small inspired action steps I took consistently on a daily basis. That’s the secret sauce to creating the life you want.
Showing up for yourself and your dreams. Daily.
If you need help with this grab the Inspired Action Map workbook in my Free Resource Library below:
8. Celebrate yourself and your progress every day.
Wanna know the real secret to a happy, fulfilling life?
It’s celebrating your progress while you’re still on the journey rather than waiting until the “end.” <——- the end doesn’t come till your dead, making it too late to celebrate, I’m afraid.
Who says you can’t celebrate every little thing you do that moves you forward? The little stuff matters just as much as the big stuff. In reality, the big stuff is just a bunch of little stuff added up right?
You are worthy of celebration today, I promise. Even if you don’t feel like a success you are. The fact you are reading this right now means A) you want to make a change and B) you’ve made it through 100% of all the crazy shit that’s already happened in your life.
I call that a massive success!
We’re taught from a young age that it’s rude to brag, but I don’t agree with that for a second. In fact, I’m going to give you a permission slip to brag every day if you want.
And you may have guessed it already, but I also have a free printable for that! #theresaprintableforthat Grab it below:
To wrap it all up:
As you can see, learning how to love yourself is not a one and done process. It takes time, and it’s truly a lifelong journey we’re all on together.
Big changes in your life won’t happen overnight, but that’s really okay. Wouldn’t it be a bit overwhelming if they did?
Save this post and work through each of these steps over the course of a few months (or even a year), and I guarantee you’ll feel better about yourself and your life will get better.
If you want something a bit more in-depth to guide you through this process step by step, you may also want to check out my book, You Woke Up Worthy: A 21-Day Self-Love Journey for Women with Big Dreams.